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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Campus graffiti artist caught by security; says public art livens campus environment

<nonymous graffiti artist responsible for the A-shaped, monster and alien figures around campus was caught by campus security on May 2. John Mawhorter ’10, a Cinema and Media Studies major from Claremont, CA, was spotted graffiting on at in front of the LDC by a campus security officer at 3:00 am. “The officer road past me on his bike. He was responding to an [unrelated] alarm so he didn’t actually talk to me, he just rode past,” said Mawhorter. “Apparently they track your one cards going into buildings so they tracked me down from that.” Mawhorter has already received a letter of disciplinary probation and an order to pay for the clean up.

Mawhorter started graffiting a couple of weeks into winter term. The figure is not symbolic of anything; “I think I came up with them when I was doodling in class or something. They are simple and easy to graffiti,” he said. While he did not say anything in particular spurred him to start winter term, Mawhorter said that the lack of police presence on campus was encouraging. He had also recently read some books about graffiti.

A fan of public art, he thinks “there should be a lot more public art than there is. It is something you can do to alleviate the boredom; if there is art everywhere then that makes life more enjoyable for everyone.”

He thinks that some people do not like graffiti because “it doesn’t give them control over what they see, but there are advertisements everywhere that people don’t have control over.”

Mawhorter said that he is interested in art, however he does “not feel that all art is relevant. But graffiti is relavant because you are walking past it every day.

Graffiti is fast and simple and gets out to people,” he said. “I think the majority of people like it, which is part of the reason I do it.”

Mawhorter graffiti-ed late at night when no one was around. He generally picked places that had heavy foot-traffic, “where I knew people would see it. Location is really important,” he said. “A lot of the best graffiti is in ridiculous locations, like on bridges, above freeways, on skyscrapers and sh-t. Or you can go for really nice pieces”.

Mawhorter has been talking with Associate Dean of Students Bucky Zietz about adding a graffiti wall somewhere on campus.

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